Kiteboarding is FUN
Kiteboarding is the best sport I could have encountered, not only you can do all the crazy tricks in the air, but also because it gives you so many opportunities. One day you can fly high in the air, the other ride a wave or glide above the water. I love to ride all different styles so my days are never boring. There are many underground disciplines like ‘cliff jumping’ ‘sup kiting’ or ‘water ski kiting’ that I am not going to write about because I haven’t tried them yet.
My main disciplines today are freestyle and kite park. The first one is the most recognised discipline in kiteboarding but also one of the most exciting one. Tricks are executed with the kite 45’- 60’ above the water, which gives the rider little airtime to complete the rotation.
Photo : Lukasz Nazdraczew
The second one, kite park, it is a discipline that is new for many people, but actually has been around since always. Man made features are set up in the water like kicker, slider, or a pipe and a rider has to do a rotation when accessing or exiting the obstacle. I would say kite park should be obligatory for a freestyle rider, but it is still hard to find places with public kite parks to practice.
fot: Lance Koudele/ Triple S
Waveriding is probably the most difficult discipline for me because I spend so much time in the flat water locations which are more predictable. However, riding in between big waves is probably the most exciting experience ever. It is so surreal to be able to ride it and survive it, hahaha. I’ve been into the waves since the beginning but I chose the freestyle because it was more accessible for me. In Poland we don’t have proper swell waves and flat water freestyle has been my priority since the beginning. When I discovered that I can catch a wave with my kite, it was so amazing because it turned out to be fun as well. The kite is pulling you, so it is easy to catch and exit the wave whenever you feel like. When you are on a little surf board, and have to paddle out into the powerful waves it is much harder than when kiteboarding.
fot: Patrick Wieland/ Slingshot Kite
In winter, it is always fun to try snowkitboarding. It is so much fun, because all you need is your kites and a snowboard. You don’t need that much wind for it, 10/12 knots is enough to pull you along. I was lucky this winter to be able to ride on a frozen lake close to my home as well as in the Polish mountains. Both options were so cool, because there were so different. In the mountains it’s definitely more exciting because you go up and down the hill, and you don’t need to take lifts. The jumps are more scary because you hang in the air for few seconds longer than usually on the water. Wind in the mountains is more dense and very often uplift which causes longer hangtime.
fot: Kuba Winkowski/ Laola Team
Foiling is awesome because it feels the gap when the wind is too light for all the other disciplines. All you need is to fly your kite, and you will glide above the water like Aladdin on a magic carpet. Foiling looks difficult, but is not as hard, especially when you are learning on a shorter mast. It took me like 3 sessions to be able to go back and forward without crashing. I am still a beginner but now I am looking forward for light wind days to master my skills.
I probably should be the least credible person to write about wakeskate, becasue I tried it only few times and I don’t skate. Nevertheless, i rode it and learned few tricks and thought it was something so different to what I normally experience when my board is strapped to my feet. Here you don’t have bindigs, and perform tricks with your legs like on a skateboard. It sounds really hard, and it is really difficult to learn, which is why not many people do it I guess.
fot: Kuba Winkowski/ Laola Team
All above are the disciplines that I have encountered and tried during my time on the water. It is always important to choose a discipline that is most suitable to personalities and spot we ride. Growing up close to the flat water location, made me practice freestyle tricks that are very exciting for young people. It is very often to transition from one discipline towards another especially when we become older. In my case it is also the excitment of variety that makes me try and practice these disciplines. There are many people that approach the beach with two or three boards at once. They change their boards when conditions change and so they always excited about the conditions. Kiteboarding is a tricky sport that is dependant on wind, tides, or waves. Very often we wait for the suitable conditions and get frustrated after a while. Being able to use to ride almost in all kinds of condition is an accomplishemnt.
What is your favorite discipline, and why do you select it over the others ?